What Are the Most Common Parrot Diseases?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Images By: Susan Flashman, n/a, Wavebreakmediamicro, Ocskay Bence, Digitalpress
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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There are several diseases that can affect a parrot, with some of them having the ability to be passed to humans. Some of the most common parrot diseases include polyoma, psittacine beak and feather disease, and chlamydia psittaci. Additional parrot diseases include proventricular dilation disease and aspergillus. An avian veterinarian should be consulted any time that a pet parrot appears to be ill so that an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan can be obtained.

Polyoma is among the most commonly contracted bird diseases. This viral illness cannot be transferred to humans and is especially harmful to baby parrots. Symptoms of this disease may include diarrhea, regurgitation, or abdominal swelling, although some parrots die from this illness without showing any physical signs of illness. There is a vaccine available in many areas of the world that is designed to prevent the occurrence of this potentially fatal disease.

Psittacine beak and feather disease is an incurable illness that causes loss of feathers, an abnormally shaped beak, and weight loss. This disease cannot be transmitted to humans, although it is considered contagious as far as other birds are concerned. There is no treatment available for this condition, so any other birds on the premises should be isolated from the infected bird.


Chlamydia psittaci is among the types of parrot diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Some birds can be carriers of this disease while showing no symptoms of illness. A bird with chlamydia psittaci may show signs of an upper respiratory infection. Humans who are most susceptible to contracting this condition include small children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.

Proventricular dilation disease is among the most common types of parrot diseases and is caused by a viral infection. This illness is contagious among birds but is not transmissible to humans. Symptoms may include regurgitation, rapid weight loss, and seizures. Available treatment options may prolong the life of the bird, but there is no cure for proventricular dilation disease.

Aspergillus is another of the more common types of parrot diseases and is caused by a fungus. This condition is considered contagious, but it is most frequently found among birds who are kept in unsanitary conditions. Humans can also contract this disease, although it is rarely transmitted from birds to humans. Parrots with aspergillus are usually treated with medications, although surgery by a qualified avian veterinarian may be required in some cases.


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